EU negotiator Michel Barnier ‘interested in Scotland’ and ‘well informed’ on visit to the Scottish Parliament
The European Committee has reported that EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was well informed about Scotland
Scottish Parliament European Committee with EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier - Image credit: Scottish Parliament
Michel Barnier was “interested in Scotland” and “well informed about Scotland’s concerns” during his visit to the Scottish Parliament today, according to the chair of the European Committee.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator met with the Scottish Parliament European Committee so members could hear first-hand about progress in the Brexit negotiations and the respective EU and UK positions from a European Commission point of view.
This follows an appearance by Mike Russell, Scotland's Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, in front of the committee on Thursday.
Committee chair SNP MSP Joan McAlpine added that Barnier was “charming and open” on a personal level.
- EU negotiator Michel Barnier to meet with MSPs
- Jean-Claude Juncker questioned the 'stability' of David Davis during Brexit talks
- UK Brexit bill 'could remove legislative competency of Scottish Parliament', warns Law Society of Scotland
McAlpine said: "Mr Barnier was interested in Scotland and was well-informed about our concerns around Brexit.
“We discussed the importance of reaching a deal and the concerns about the pace of the negotiations.
“He has a very clear mandate to negotiate for the EU27 as one.
“We discussed what needs to happen before negotiations can move on to any future relationship between the UK and the EU as well as models for transitional arrangements.
“I made it clear that a majority of the committee favoured remaining in the single market.
“On a personal level, Mr Barnier was charming and open.
“The meeting ran over its scheduled time of an hour and Mr Barnier said he would be happy to speak to us in the future."
Deputy convener Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald added: "We had a very constructive discussion with M. Barnier covering the withdrawal agreement, long-term relationships and the transitional period.
“It is clear that there is plenty of scope for discussions of any proposals the UK government might make about remaining in the single market and customs union for a transitional period after March 2019.”
FM will appear as honorary grand marshal at Glasgow Pride on Saturday, at the same time as US President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Scotland
The Prime Minister unveiled her Brexit plan yesterday, outlining plans to maintain close economic ties with Brussels
The Treasury has estimated the UK will pay up to £39bn after it quits the EU to fulfil its obligations
The paper sets out the UK Government’s proposals for a post-Brexit relationship with the EU, but the Scottish Government suggested it offered “little reassurance”